In North Augusta You May Trespass & Threaten So Long As You Wear a Badge

This post comes to us from CarolinasCopBlock.org. It combines a news article from Teddy Kulmala of the Aiken Standard with some commentary interjected.

Authorities did nothing wrong when they detained a man for disorderly conduct while investigating a report of a loud party on Saturday, a spokesman for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety said. Social media postings by the man indicate he has a different story.

[First off the use of “authorities” denotes to me that Kulmala, the author of this piece, is in no way objective but has – possibly unthinkingly – bought into the extra rights claimed by some folks.]

Tyner Jerome Holmes, 21, of Central Avenue in Augusta, was charged with disorderly conduct and released on bond.According to Public Safety’s Lt. Tim Thornton, officers were dispatched to a loud party at a home on the corner of East Summit Avenue and East Avenue around 1 a.m. Saturday. One officer went to the front door while Officer Larry Turner entered a chain-link fence into the back yard “where he heard the most noise.”

[Turner “entered a chain-link fence” and no questions are raised by Kulmala? That’s pretty shoddy reporting. I wonder if Kulmala would overlook such an action if it were his property that was unjustly entered…]

Thornton said Turner identified himself as law enforcement and that they were investigating a noise complaint when he was approached by Holmes.

[Why the hell does Turner – the person whose actions are in question – have someone else answering for him? Why does his colleague Thornton have to answer for him? Why isn’t Turner responsible to try to justify his misdeeds?]

Thornton said Holmes got in the officer’s way “and said he’s trespassing. He’s not allowed to be there, and he needs to leave.”

[Seems reasonable to me. Good on Holmes for making this clear.]

Turner was within his rights to investigate criminal activity and told Holmes he needed to speak with the homeowner, Thornton said.

“(Holmes) is standing up in front of his friends, being disruptive and obstructing what the officer is trying to do,” Thornton said. “He was never loud, never used profanity but was persistently in the immediate space of the officer trying to investigate the situation and continued to repeat, ‘You don’t have any right to be here. You’re trespassing.’”

[So pointing-out the wrongs done by someone employed as a police employee is justification enough to overlook trespassing? If anything, someone who actually cares about “protecting the community” would give thanks to someone calling-out those acting in the wrong, no matter their place of employment.]

According to the report, Holmes told Turner that “he knew the law because he was a criminal justice major.”

[This statement underscores why the Statist Quo – which says one group of people have the “right” to create and interpret law – isn’t ideal. Also, the failure to see that man-made dictates are simply that, whereas law is natural. One shouldn’t have to go to school for years to know what’s right and wrong. Anytime legislation conflicts with law those who think for themselves side with the latter, thus helping to set the stage for a better society.]

Thornton said Turner asked Holmes several more times to be quiet and step aside, and that as the officer approached the back door, Holmes again got in front of him.

“At that point, the officer said, ‘OK, come with me. You’re being detained while I figure out what’s going on here,’” Thornton said, adding that Holmes then turned on a “personal recording system” and recorded an exchange between Turner and him.

[Step-back and think about this – a stranger enters your property uninvited. You question them. They them claim the right to use force against you. Instead of rightly labeling such a person a “criminal” they purport that they acted in the right, and their crew backs them. That’s policing today. That doesn’t sound like a “service” I’d want to pay for.]

Holmes posted the 90-second YouTube clip, titled “Arrested.” on his Facebook page, along with the caption, “Don’t question authority in North Augusta, S.C., because they’ll break your arm.”

Thornton said the recording is authentic.

[Interesting that Kulmala made mention of the video but failed to include it on his post. It is included here to lessen the asymmetry of information. Listen for yourself. Just who is in the wrong?]

During the clip, Turner is heard saying to Holmes, “Put your hand behind your back or I’m going to break this one.” According to Thornton, Turner was trying to put the handcuffs on Holmes, who was resisting.

“Officer Turner is trying to explain to him; if you resist, you’re going to break your arm. I’ve got a hold of you, and if you continue to move, you’re going to break your arm,” Thornton said. “He’s making a point that if (Holmes) chooses to continue to resist, the restraint Officer Turner has on Mr. Holmes could injure Mr. Holmes. It’s a restraint move to help us to secure unwilling and resistant individuals.”

[Double-speak and distractions at its finest. Maybe that’s why Thornton is answering instead of Turner.]

Thornton said Turner never entered the home.

[As if that somehow makes the actions he did take more acceptable? Why did Thornton claim it was ok for Turner to enter the property but then draw a distinction here?]

According to the report, while en route to Public Safety headquarters, Holmes “stated numerous times that he was wrong for his actions.” Thornton said that, during the incident, several of Holmes’ friends advised him to be quiet.

[Maybe Holmes was scared? He was being kidnapped by someone who already showed no respect for property rights nor his fellow man.]

Thornton said Holmes has not filed a complaint against the department.

[Holmes probably knows it’d be of no use since it’d just be “investigated” by colleagues of Turner. A better option would be for Holmes to submit an incident report at Cop-Reports.com/Submit – make it transparent.

A message left for Holmes by the Aiken Standard requesting comment was not returned. Several people commented on the video on Facebook and asked Holmes what happened.

“I was at a party, and the cop invited himself into the back yard without any consent and then entered the house without consent. I was the only one who piped up,” Holmes wrote. “i was asked to get the owner, which was an order i was trying to comply with, but first i wanted the officer to step out of the back yard [sic].”

“Because of the attention that this has drawn, we have looked into the conduct of Officer Turner, and we have found that Officer Turner did nothing wrong,” Thornton said. “He’s been a good officer, doing a good job for the city.”

[Sick. If you live in the area I hope you reach-out and let Turner and Thornton know what you think about their actions and the subsequent glossing-over of what’s very likely something that often happens, it’s just that this time, there’s an objective recording.]

Thornton said the department gets noise complaint calls often.

“Virtually every time, we ask the source to turn the music down. They comply, we wish them a good night, thanks a lot and drive away, no problems,” he said. “That’s exactly the way this was going to be handled, but this guy persistently kept getting in the face of the officer and obstructing what he was trying to do.”

Let those involved know what you think:

Aiken Standard
http://www.aikenstandard.com/section/contact
(803) 648-2311
Teddy Kulmala – “reporter” who parrots the “official” line

North Augusta Department of Public Safety
http://www.northaugusta.net/Departments/PublicSafety/tabid/119/Default.aspx
803-279-2121
Larry Turner – aggressor
Tim Thornton – thin blue line collaborator
Tyner Jerome Holmes – threatened, kidnapped, and threats levied

Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.